Cape Town - A surfing contest scheduled for this weekend at Durban's North Beach has been cancelled due to safety reasons.
The Zigzag Durban Surf Pro, scheduled to run from May 10-12, has been cancelled due to Durban's beaches being closed because of high levels of sewerage from Durban Harbour affecting the surrounding area, Zigzag's official website confirmed on Friday.
A statement from the city read:
"Please be advised that we are suspending all diving operations and fishing in the port due to the sewage flowing into the port. It is approximately 720 000 litters per hour that is flowing through.
"The City has taken the sewage pumps out and these pumps require spares that will be coming from overseas.
"Our Environmental Department has been engaging with the City but will only be able to contain this spillage earliest by the 31st May 2019.
"Furthermore, damages on City infrastructure are making matters worse. Port of Durban has invoked BCP as we need to do water samples. We need to test for dissolved oxygen levels, and do an analysis of faecal contamination across the port."
The organisers, Accelerate Sport and World Surf League (WSL), said there was not enough time to relocate the event.
"With regards to relocating the event, it's not as easy as it seems. Accelerate Sports weighed up various options but logistically, it simply wasn’t possible.
"The difficulty of moving locations is that it would have taken at least a day to secure a permit for an event of this size, but the event would also need three days to run and complete.
"Starting the event and not being able to complete it by Sunday 12 May 2019 would have meant no winners would have been finalised and the surfers competing would have forfeited a refund of their entry fees. WSL rules, as soon as an event gets underway, the option of refunds falls away if an event is incomplete."